I’m so happy to be writing this post after successfully tackling a terrifying chicken and roasting it to sublime perfection in my oven.
Okay, so the chicken was actual sort of on the tiny side.
And it wasn’t really terrifying since,well, it’s not like I had to de-feather it or anything.
Even though that bag of giblets is sort of horrifying in and of itself.
But still! Roasting a whole chicken has been on my personal “Fear No Food” List for quite some time. Whole birds have always seemed incredibly intimidating to me. When Thanksgiving came around, you could always find me working on mashing pounds of potatoes, or stuffing myself silly with stuffing, but that big ole’ turkey was my mom’s domain.
She offered to let me take a crack at it; she even showed me exactly what she did to prepare it. But I was not having it. There’s just something so overwhelming about a cooking an entire bird.
However, the cheap cook within me was crying out for me to face my fear. Whole chickens are incredibly cheap and leave you with a mountain of cooked chicken to use in all sorts of recipes. If I finally learned how to do this, I could cook one every Sunday and have perfectly moist, cooked chicken all week long. With that in mind, I decided to try it out this past weekend.
Now I love research, and by love I mean adore, so I decided to check out a few of my favorite cooking resources before battling this bird. Between The Kitchn, Food52, and my copy of The Joy of Cooking, I realized I could achieve a moist, golden-brown chicken with just a few simple tips.
One: Make a bed of vegetables for your chicken to sit on. This is a fantastic tip since a) it keeps the chicken elevated while it cooks, and thus away from the rendering fat that drips off of it, and b) you end up with savory vegetables that you can enjoy with your chicken.
Two: rub the entire chicken (and I mean everywhere) with oil or butter. I had a four pound chicken, so I used about 4 tbsp of browned butter.
Yep. I rubbed browned butter all over this chicken and it was the best idea ever. I also happened to have this super rad Coffee Rub in my pantry (a gift from on of the other teachers I worked with during my summer program) that I knew would be just the thing to take this chicken from good to grand.
Brown Butter + Coffee Spice Rub = one beautifully brown bird.
Three: Preheat the oven to a higher temperature, and then lower it once you put the chicken inside. This one came right out of Joy of Cooking, and it makes a great deal of sense. Want crispy skin without sacrificing moisture in the actual meat? Preheat your oven to 450, then reduce to 350 once the chicken is inside the oven. The skin gets crispy and then provides a barrier to protect the meat from drying out.
So, after much spice rubbing, and much brown-buttering, and 70 minutes in the oven, I had this gorgeous Coffee Rub Roasted Chicken sitting on my kitchen table, ready to be devoured.
*Sigh of relief*
Now that I know I can successfully cook a chicken without it exploding (yes, a real fear up until this moment) , I can’t wait to try more flavor combinations as the weather gets cooler! Since we are, however, still very much in summertime, I’ll be back on Friday with a no-bake dessert that will remind you of Fall but still keep you cool.